Friday, August 2, 2013

I Need New Music. Help!

So I've been listening to my iPod a lot more lately with having started a new job (last job I may have watched Netflix while I worked. I swear it made me more productive), and I'm really starting to get bored of all my music. So I'm reaching out to my readers to help me. I'm asking you to provide me with bands/artists/music that you like and think I would as well. I will preface this by listing the music genres I can't stand and which I truly love. So please don't suggest something in the genre I don't like and then say, "I know you don't like this type of music, but this person/band will change your mind", because you will be wrong. With that being said, start suggesting away! Pretty please!

Genres I hate:

Country (oh god do I hate country)
Boy Band Pop

Genres I like/love:

Classic Rock
Rock & Roll in general
Indie Pop
Indie Rock
New Wave
Pop (60's-80's mainly)

Some band that I like that might give you a better idea are:

The Beatles
Band of Horses
Maroon 5
Matchbox Twenty
Bon Jovi
Crooked Fingers
The National
The Editors
Frightened Rabbit
Glas Vegas
Hot Hot Heat
Elton John
Peter Gabriel
Matt & Kim
Naked & Famous

Oh and if it sounds like country then no thank you. Example: Mumford & Sons

I'm really not as picky as I sound either. I promise.


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Summer TV Watching Angel Style

Now moving on to my thoughts about the series Angel.  Again there will be spoilers, so if you haven't seen the series and plan to, please stop reading now and go watch.


This series began after the third season of Buffy, and follows her one true love Angel, the 200+ old vampire with a soul, as he leaves Sunnydale and moves to LA to continue his mission of redemption for his past sins by saving humans from demons. His choice for this move is to save Buffy from the pain that seemed to follow their on and off again relationship.

Going into the Buffy universe I knew that Angel eventually left Sunnydale, but didn't know how and I was always interested in watching the show, but I felt that I would need to watch Buffy first in order to really appreciate Angel. And I was right, sort of. I wish I had started watching Angel right after the third season of Buffy and alternated between the shows through the rest of each series. Instead I watched all of Buffy and then all of Angel and that made me wonder what the heck was going on sometimes when watching Buffy and then have to remember what the heck happened when watching Angel. I do have to give props to Whedon and his crew for the continuity between the two shows. Even though toward the end when Buffy moved TV stations and they wouldn't allow for guest appearances on either show anymore (aside from Willow), they still stayed true to both stories. So with this being said I will go into what I liked and disliked about the show.

As I said in my last post, Cordelia was a take it or leave it character for me, but on Angel she grew into someone I really enjoyed. Not only did she help Angel with his redemption mission, but she also became a much better person. Although the fourth season story line totally went weird and I'm still not entirely sure what the thought process on that one was, she became a like-able character.

Along with Cordy in the first season there was also Doyle, well for the first half of season one. I really liked Doyle, and I don't know the history and reasoning as to why they killed his character off so early in the series. I personally would have liked to see him continue with the series.

With Doyle leaving, this left a gap in the group. So enters Wesley Windham Price. Wesley was first seen on Buffy as the new Watcher for both Buffy and Faith after Giles was fired. He was a whiny British pansy boy to put it lightly when we first met his character, but when he joined Angel's team, we found that he's been working on toughening up his image. He left the Watcher's Counsel and became a self-proclaimed Rogue Demon Hunter. I have to admit, I love Wesley so much. He was a great comic relief at the beginning of the series and then turned into a serious bad-ass by the end of the series. He was dealt a bad hand for trying to be the good guy, and I swear he was always the one to be seriously injured. But in the end he proved his own and paid the ultimate price to try and save the world. And I may have shed a few tears. RIP Wesley.

Gunn was an alright character. At times I liked him and at times I didn't. He was kind of all over the place on whether he wanted to be loyal to Angel or not. To give Gunn the benefit of the doubt, Angel didn't make it easy at times to be liked, but man Gunn kind of bugged. He also had no qualms about going after a girl he knew Wesley had feelings for. I always felt that Fred and Wesley fit better than Gunn and Fred. And it breaks my heart that Wesley never really got the chance he should have with Fred.

And speaking of Fred, she's just adorable. I think she was a good addition to the group, having been stranded in a hell dimension for five years and nearly losing her mind while there, and then being rescued and brought back by Angel and the crew. She became the brains of the operation when it came to the science factor of fighting demons. She even had to pick up the slack and play historian when Wesley was banished and disowned for kidnapping Angel's son. Everyone loved Fred, and rightfully so. I didn't care for them killing off her character and bringing in the Allyria. Yeah she looked like Fred, but it wasn't Fred. Tears were shed as Wesley held dying Fred in his arms. RIP Fred.

And then came Angel's son. This was a weird addition to the group, starting out as a little baby born to two vampires (Angel and Darla) and then being kidnapped by Wesley because of a prophecy saying the "Father will kill the Son", and subsequently being kidnapped again by Holts who has a vendetta against Angel for killing his family 200 years prior, and then ending up in a hell dimension raised by Holts, returns as an Angel-hating-demon-fighting-teenager. Phew confused yet? Oh it gets better.

But first I need to mention Lorne, the empathic green-skinned singing demon from another hell dimension of his own called Pailea (I have no idea if I spelled that correctly). There's nothing to not love about Lorne honestly. He was too nice for his own good sometimes and found himself in tough predicaments a lot of the time. But he's a favorite of mine. He was totally useful when it came to needing to know the future, and it was always funny to watch someone break out in song so he could read them. Genius. Sadly toward the end of the show, the fun loving Lorne we knew was gone and what was left was a hollow remnant of what used to be. The workings of evil had taken a toll on him, and you see that in the last scene he's in.

The series' story line kind of went from good to bad to alright, and I think that's why it only lasted five seasons. Regardless I loved watching the show, and would watch it again. I could do without some of the weird twists that occurred, and when I say weird I mean it. For one Angel and Darla having a child. This child growing up and then sleeping with Cordelia who has just returned from being a higher power, and impregnating her with the ultimate demon spawn which ends up putting her in a coma and then eventually dying. More tears were shed for that death too. RIP Cordelia.

By the fifth season, it got slightly better, because it had Spike. Yeah he didn't die! Well kind of. The banter between Angel and Spike made the fifth season a lot better than it would have been. I especially enjoyed the episode where they go to Italy to retrieve a demon head and knowing that Buffy is there, they hunt her down without any luck. The competition of who Buffy loves more was pretty entertaining. I was kind of sad that Buffy never found out Spike was still alive or that we got to see Angel and Buffy together once more. I've read on Wiki and IMDB that the stories continue for both Buffy and Angel in the form of graphic novels. I'm not a huge comic book fan, but I may just have to become one. I'm dying to know how the stories continue!

Overall I did like the show and am glad I watched it. There were all the happy, sad, dark, sweet and evil moments that you would expect from the Buffyverse. Plus it doesn't hurt to have a good looking lead. Just sayin'.

Summer TV Watching Buffy Style

This summer's TV has been kind of lackluster, or I'm just not as into it as in years past. Either way, I've been living on Netflix most of the summer. And knowing how big of a TV buff I am, you know that I've watched at least a couple series already. So what have I been watching? I decided to go back in time to the year 1996 and relive the styles and trends of my high school years. The only difference was that I wasn't fighting/killing vampires and demons like Buffy. Nor was I making out with any hot vampires either. That part makes me a little sad. Anyway after I finished Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I immediately went and watched Angel. I had never seen either series, aside from a handful of Buffy episodes here and there over the years. So I thought this was the perfect chance to watch some cult classics. And now I think I'll share with you my thoughts on the shows. If you've never seen them yourself, some of this may be spoiler material, and if you have I would love to hear your thoughts on the shows too.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer:

The relationship between Buffy and Angel was what every girl dreams of, aside from the being dead part. Stefanie Meyer has nothing on Joss Whedon when it comes to the story of a human girl falling in love with a vampire. Frankly I'm pretty sure Meyer ripped it off. A dream my ass...she probably watched Buffy one night and got the idea to rewrite the story. At least this is how I see it playing out. Angel and Buffy were the first Bella and Edward. And so much better too! I am still sad that they didn't end up together though. But while they were together, I shipped it so much.

But then comes along Spike after Angel ditches out and moves to LA. Spike is a complete dick to Buffy at first, you know because he has no soul and likes to kill slayers, but then he gets this chip put in his head which holds him back (and later a soul of his own), and then randomly decides he's in love with Buffy. And then I have a whole new pairing to ship. Forget Willow and Tara or Xander and Anya, those were meh compared to how hot and forbidden the Spike and Buffy relationship was to watch. This show went from being a show about an innocent high school girl who is called upon to kill vampires to this adult show of steamy sex scenes with fighting and killing thrown in.

I liked the majority of the characters; Xander had to grow on me. He annoyed me at first because he felt he owned Buffy and would get upset if she was with another guy. Eventually when he got himself a girlfriend, the one and only Cordelia, only then did he start to let up on the Buffy obsession. He was still the protective best friend, but he didn't treat her as property anymore. I loved Willow from the beginning and then when she came out and started seeing Tara, I loved her even more. That was a risky move on Whedon's part at that time, and I'm so glad he took it. I feel it helped open doors to having more openly gay characters on TV. There's still a lot of progress to make, but I think this show really helped that.

I wasn't much of a fan of Anya, she honestly drove me bat shit crazy most of the time. There were some moments that I thought she was good for a comedic relief, but that was Xander's territory, so it couldn't happen often. I absolutely adored Giles, but who doesn't love Anthony Stewart Head? Having watched him on Merlin before this, it was hard to break from wanting to call him Uther, but it didn't take long for me to start calling him Giles and loving him. I hated that he left the show in the last couple seasons. The father/ daughter relationship between him and Buffy was something I really adored watching.

Cordelia was one I could take or leave while she was on Buffy. She was the typical cheerleader personality, but when she started dating Xander, I saw the softer side of her. It wasn't much, but I started to like her more. Faith was one I really didn't care for, and I thought was given too much air time personally. I know that in the end she becomes good and helps save the world, but I really didn't like her. Now Spike I loved. Who doesn't love a bad boy? It didn't hurt that he was sexy either. At first I wasn't sure about the whole Buffy/Spike thing, but as it grew deeper, I wanted nothing more. And at the end of the series when Angel shows up to help, it broke my heart to see Spike hurt by Buffy's actions toward Angel. Angel and Buffy are each other's true love and I ship that forever, but I also ship Spike and Buffy which made me so torn. And still does.

Buffy's mom was an integral part of the show in the beginning, but obviously as you grow older, you don't need your parents as much and so her mom was less and less apart of her daily life, but when little sister came into the picture (who I could have done without) and Joyce started getting ill, Buffy moved back home to be with her family. The most gut wrenching and I would have to say hardest episode I've seen since the death of Nate Fisher on Six Feet Under is when Joyce dies. So unexpected (although I already knew) and so very very hard to watch. The episode was so well done, and without any music whatsoever through the entire episode, made it eerie to watch through tear-filled eyes. My friend Jordan hasn't been able to bring herself to finish the series after watching that episode, it affected her so much. And honestly I can't blame her. I had to take a breather after watching the episode and gather myself. Why does a TV show have to do that to you?

The show overall was cheesy, funny, heart breaking, scary, and just a wild ride that I loved. Not to mention it has a kick-ass theme song. I really don't know how I missed out on this show when it was airing on TV. And I'm ashamed it took me this long to watch it, but man am I glad I did. It probably has to be in my top 10 favorite shows. And it's a show I could watch over and over again which says a lot.

How did you feel about the show? I know that even to this day, the show is hailed as one of the best cult shows on TV. Do you agree?

And because this turned out so long, I will split this into a two-parter and post separately about Angel. So stay tuned!

Life Choices

Do you ever feel like you know you're meant for something more in life? That what you're doing now is not what you should be doing? Choosing the right career is such a tricky thing, and one that I know a lot of people struggle with; me included. There are so many things I want to do in life, and I can feel it dwindling away the older I get. I know I shouldn't let that get to me, that my age shouldn't hold me back from what I want in life, and although that's good advice, it doesn't always hold true. I've been at a crossroads in my life for a few years now. I stayed with a company for a lot longer than I should have because I was complacent. I've started with a new company in the same field as the previous and am finding that it's not making me feel any better. I want to change things up. Challenge myself. And where I am now is not doing that. So this begs the question of "how do I fix this?"

My first thought is to look for something else. So I have. But this also worries me that if I do get something else, will it make me happy? I know a lot of people would respond saying, "only you can make yourself happy". But if I'm not even entirely sure what I want in life, how can I make myself happy? I can be in a happy state of mind, but aren't I just fooling myself? So while I'm looking for something new, something that will challenge me and most of all something that will hopefully make me happy even if only temporarily, I've decided to make a sort of bucket list of the things I want to do, careers I would love to have and what I think could make me a lot happier. A lot of this list may not be realistic, and a lot may be, but will take a good amount of time to accomplish. Overall it's something I can refer to often and remind myself that there are ways to be happy, I just need to work for them. And please don't get me wrong, the job I have now is so much better than my last, and the people are worlds apart too, and I'm grateful I have the job, but I know I'm meant for something more. I've worked long and hard for more than half my life now and I owe it to myself to be and do what I want with my life. Right?

My Happy List (in no particular order):

1. Travel to England
2. Maybe live in England
3. Move out of state at least once and for at least a year
4. Learn how to write computer programs
5. Learn Photoshop better
6. Open a tea shop with the one and only Jordan
7. Learn how to design websites
8. Learn Interior Design
9. Write a book (maybe finish one I've started)
10. Possibly get said book published
11. Travel all of Europe
12. Meet people who inspire me
13. Travel the U.S.
14. Live in New York
15. Live in Oregon or Washington
16. Become a better piano player
17. Learn a new instrument
18. Socialize more, not be such a hermit
19. Own a home
20. Paint and draw more
21. Take up photography and film making
22. Learn how to better edit films

If you noticed, my aspirations aren't typical of the women in my state of wanting to get married and have kids. Those aren't a high priority for me. If love finds me, then so be it and I'll welcome it with open arms, but it's not something I strive for right now. I need to find my inner happiness first. And as for kids, well if you know me then you know that is most definitely not a concern of mine.

This list may grow, but hopefully it will shrink because I've crossed things off for having accomplished them. I just want to be happy and love what I do. I don't think that's too much to ask.